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How does the Japanese government work?


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August 14, 2012 2:28AM

Japan's Government which started in1947, is based on three principles: sovereignty of the people, respect for fundamental human rights and peace. The Constitution also stipulates the independence of the three branches of government - legislative (the Diet), executive (the cabinet), and judicial (the courts).

The Diet, Japan's national parliament, has the highest power and the sole law-maker of the state. The Diet comprises the 480-seat House of Representatives (lower house) and the 242-seat House of Councillors (upper house). All Japanese citizens can vote in elections once they reach the age of 20.

Japan has a parliamentary system of government like Britain and Canada. The Japanese do not elect a president directly. Diet members elect a prime minister from among themselves. The prime minister forms and leads the cabinet of ministers of state.

Judicial power lies with the Supreme Court and lower courts, such as high courts, district courts. Most cases are handled by district courts. There are also summary courts, which deal with problems like traffic violations.